Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 21st 2018 Contents commentary A21
Sunday, January 21, 2018
'Reach out in love' to
the LGBTQI community
if Jesus were here
today, He would
reach out in
love to men and
gling with same-gender attrac-
tion and require His Church to
treat the same with dignity and
So says Pastor Phillip Lee in
his New Years's Day message for
The issue of how the church re-
lates to persons from the lesbian,
gay, bisexual, transgender, queer,
intersex (LGBTQI) community is a
But it is one that Lee, the
founder of the His Way Out Min-
istries (HWOM), is hoping to help
answer. The church, based in the
Phillip Lee the founder of His Way Out Ministries.
US, has a branch in Curepe.
Over the past couple weeks,
the Sunday Guardian has focused
on the issue of this country's LG-
Last week, the newspaper
highlighted the story of Deyone
"Milly" Guiseppi who fled this
country ive years ago after being
bullied, harassed and victimised
for her gender.
Milly is transgender.
One of the main reasons why
Guiseppi felt that she had to
leave this country for her own
safety was because of the harass-
ment meted out to her by a for-
mer boss who was a pastor.
This led the Sunday Guardian
to try and ind out what exactly is
the church's position on the issue
of the LGBTQI movement.
In 2016, the Tacarigua Worship
House Open Bible Church led by
senior pastor Fitzroy Grif ith held
a seminar hosted by Lee focusing
on this very issue.
It is a path that Lee has person-
"From a very small child I
knew that I was different, and as
childhood rolled into my teens
the difference I felt became an
all too apparent reality. I was
homosexual," Lee states in his
Apart from being gay, Lee was
also a drug user.
"Reflecting back over those
dark years and all that transpired,
it is truly a miracle in itself that I
am here to share this testimony.
The number of situations and in-
cidents that God by His grace and
mercy delivered me from are far
too many to state," he said.
A new lease on life
Lee's life changed, however, on
October 5, 1985.
"It was evening as I sat in my
apartment. I looked around at all
the beautiful and costly items. I
looked out the window at the
new car, glanced at the closets
full of clothes, the displayed art-
work. All the things that were
supposed to make a person ful-
illed," he said.
"With another glance came the
realisation of enormous debt, a
body riddled with drugs, not a
friend in sight and the absence
of any hope. Seated with my
eyes closed, came the whispered
words, 'God, I am going down for
the last count. If you you are truly
there and listening, please...' I re-
member a bright light that pene-
trated my still tightly closed eyes.
An embrace that brought peace
and comfort. All of the entan-
glements that had me so bound
seemed to drop to the floor. As I
began to rise to my feet, I knew
that God had heard me and had
made His presence known. I was
Lee said he felt renewed and
had a new lease on life.
He started to attend church
and read his Bible.
"I stopped doing all drugs and
became totally removed from
any association with homosexual
activity," Lee stated.
Then on January 4, 1993 Lee
faced another life changing mo-
"On January 4, 1993, I was diag-
nosed as having the AIDS virus.
After so many years of celibacy,
I truly thought I had escaped the
possibility," he said.
"I have never said, 'Oh Lord,
how did this happen?' Yes, there
have been times of frustration
and fear. But, ultimately, I have
drawn closer to Him," Lee stated.
Finding love in the church
He said in church he found the
love he was looking for.
Lee founded the His Way Out
"At His Way Out Ministries we
believe we have a mandate and a
calling to bring understanding to
the confusing issue of homosexu-
ality. Indeed, it is past due to set
many records straight and pro-
vide answers to key questions,
separating fact from iction. Are
people born with same-sex at-
traction? Did God make them
that way? Did they choose to
have same-sex attraction? Does
God really love those who expe-
rience homosexual feelings? How
do we respond to same-sex at-
tracted family members, friends,
co-workers and fellow brothers
and sisters in Christ?" Lee stated.
Lee said His Way Out Ministries
remains dedicated to communi-
cating a message of "hope and
that change is possible for those
struggling with same-gender de-
The Bible instructs us to re-
spond to people with compas-
sion, hope and help, Lee said.
"Of course, as followers of
Christ, the practice of homosexu-
ality should never be encouraged
or af irmed. However, when any
man or woman has the courage
and the integrity to disclose their
battle with same-gender attrac-
tion, that in and of itself should
never be taken lightly and ulti-
mately viewed as an opportunity
to share Christ's love and accept-
ance for and to the individual,"
Lee stated in his new year mes-
"Each of us can either be part
of the problem by not taking any
action, or we can participate in
changing history by reaching out
in love, forgiveness and under-
standing. Ultimately, the crisis of
homosexuality will not be solved
by politics, science, or the media.
The solution is in your hands and
mine, within our hearts, inside
our minds and most de initely by
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